For more than twenty years Sultan Khan defied the authorities to supply books to the people of Kabul. He was arrested, interrogated and imprisoned, and watched illiterate soldiers burn piles of his books in the street.
In spring 2002 award-winning journalist Åsne Seierstad spent four months living with the bookseller and his family. As she steps back from the page and lets the Khans tell their stories, we learn of proposals and marriages, hope and fear, crime and punishment. The result is a unique portrait of a family and a country.
'A remarkable portrait, with deftly woven accounts of weddings and journeys, books and bookselling, relations and squabbles, firmly anchored by pleasing details about food and customs, all set against the backdrop of a derelict city, filthy and crammed but not defeated ... [Seierstad] was fascinated by everything she witnessed, and her curiosity and perceptive eye colours every page' INDEPENDENT